Mike Reid fan wins assault appeal

PUBLISHED: 05:41 14 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:52 24 May 2010

A MIKE Reid fan accused of heckling the star then assaulting the manager of The Playhouse in Weston has won an appeal against his conviction for assault. Graham Flynn, of Lonsdale Avenue, was removed from a show after singing That's Life with former EastE

A MIKE Reid fan accused of heckling the star then assaulting the manager of The Playhouse in Weston has won an appeal against his conviction for assault.Graham Flynn, of Lonsdale Avenue, was removed from a show after singing That's Life with former EastEnders Mike Reid and engaging in cockney banter with the comedian.The 51-year-old was said to have sworn and swung a crutch he was carrying at theatre manager Barry North, injuring Mr North's arm.Flynn was convicted of using threatening, insulting or abusive words behaviour and a charge of assault by North Somerset magistrates in Weston. He was ordered to pay compensation to Mr North. But on Tuesday, Flynn won an appeal against his assault conviction at Bristol Crown Court and the compensation order was quashed. However he lost his appeal against the conviction for the second offence.Commenting after the hearing, Flynn said he felt vilified by his victory but was disappointed not to have won appeals against both convictions.Flynn told the court Mr North first told him off when he pulled a can of Kronenbourg out of his bag and developed a personal vendetta against him.He said: "At the end of the show Mike Reid starts with an intro to a song - That's Life and I sang 'that's what people say' and he said 'can you sing it?' and I said 'yes' and he said 'carry on'. I got a fair bit into it."The next thing I'm being dragged out. Mr North came down and grabbed my arm," said Flynn. He said he had been in excruciating pain and felt frightened for his safety.The bench heard how one witness saw Flynn swing his crutch at Mr North, however asked by his barrister, Neil Treharne, if he had injured or attempted to injure the man, the appellant said: "No. I had no intention what so ever. I appal violence."Recorder Martin Picton told Flynn he had not responded proportionately when he swore at Mr North and had gone too far in his "spirited interactions."But he added: "We do not believe there is evidence to support the conviction that Mr Flynn struck out deliberately with his crutch, striking Mr North on the arm.

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